Statistics and Market Data on Energy
In this section, Statista presents the most relevant and up-to-date facts relating to the electric power sector.
Coal, natural gas and nuclear fuels are the most important sources for electricity generation worldwide. Natural gas in particular and, to a certain extent, shale oil have transformed themselves into cheap and reliable energy sources as a result of improved hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and horizontal drilling methods, enabling the energy industry to release unprecedented quantities of the precious liquids from deposits that were previously thought either inaccessible or uneconomic: Shale oil is estimated to be economic at prices of around 70 U.S. dollars per barrel. Despite the prevalence of non-renewable fuels, electric power can also be derived from renewable sources, including wind power, hydropower and solar photovoltaic power. Typically, electric current is generated by utility companies and delivered to end customers via large unidirectional power networks. The world’s largest electric utilities include Duke, GDF Suez and E.ON.
In traditional electric power grids, about 40 percent of electricity is lost in the process of delivering electricity to end customers. In order to reduce such losses, governments worldwide are pondering the introduction of smart grids. The new networks will support the increased generation of renewable electricity and facilitate the connection of electric vehicles to the grid. Unlike traditional power systems, smart grids are multidirectional networks, allowing the feed-in of power produced by residential and other small-scale renewable energy producers near electric utilities or in remote regions. Smart grids also enable the monitoring and measuring of electricity. The leading companies in the area of electric metering include IBM, Cisco, Honeywell, General Electric, Trilliant Networks and Itron.